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Jeff Samardzija Will Scale Back Offseason Routine

Jeff Samardzija has been one of the few pleasant surprises in a Chicago Cubs season that has otherwise been characterized by long losing streaks and disappointing developments. Samardzija takes the mound today at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-5 record and a 4.04 ERA and 1.35 WHIP.

Samardzija can credit a grueling offseason routine for his evolution into a dependable starter, but as the innings and pitches continue to pile up this season for the 27-year old righty, Samardzija is talking about scaling back his November workouts in an effort to preserve his arm long-term.

Here's what he told ESPN Chicago:

"Obviously I felt I was in a good position to throw a lot this past offseason," Samardzija said. "I thought my arm was in good shape from the previous year. But this year with throwing the innings we’re going to throw I’ll probably push it back a little bit."

"I will be out there for sure, just for the fact that if anybody wants to go out there and work out with us, it’s a great atmosphere," he said. "We had a couple of guys out there usually every year. It’s usually low key. You have the whole weight room to yourself, the whole field to yourself. It’s just good to be there with a couple of guys that you don’t see in the offseason."

Samardzija will face Arizona lefty Joe Saunders on Friday, who enters at 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more extensive coverage of this series visit Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more baseball news coverage, visit Baseball Nation.